The Russian Raptor

Gee, does this aircraft look, um, familiar?

Russia Unveils Its First Stealth Fighter

Russia on Tuesday unveiled its first stealth fighter to the public, lifting the curtain on a secret project designed to flood the market with cheaper versions of better-known US jets.

The Sukhoi Tu-50, being developed jointly by Russia and India, made its maiden flight at a Far East airbase in January 2010 and was rolled out for public viewing at the MAKS international airshow outside Moscow.

Two of the sleek silver prototypes are due to perform air stunts Wednesday under the watchful eye of Russia’s powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin, in a show of Russian military confidence in the much-delayed project.

“The T-50 jet will provide the backbone not only of the Russian air force but also that of India,” said Mikhail Pogosyan, president of United Aircraft Corporation, the state aviation holding company.

See also:
T-50 Fighter to Be Unveiled at MAKS
Russian Next Generation Stealth Fighter Unveiled at Air Show
Russian stealth and euro efficiency at MAKS airshow
Russia Set To Show Off Its First Stealth Fighter
Introducing The T-50: The Russian Stealth Fighter That Will Be Unveiled This Week
Indo-Russia T-50 stealth fighter to make its international debut
Russia sees orders for fifth generation jet from 2015
Russia set to show off its first stealth fighter
What does Russia’s fighter debut mean for the U.S.?
MAKS 2011
MAKS Airshow
Sukhoi Company (JSC)
Sukhoi PAK FA

So, Russia and India are going to mass produce the Sukhoi Tu-50 and “flood the market”. Meanwhile, we/ve stopped producing the F-22 Raptor and have funneled all or resources into the technologically inferior, ridiculously expensive, cost overruns from hell, F-35 Lightning II program, a program that’s now grounded while still only in the testing phase because it sucks so bad!

/what’s wrong with this picture?

The New Laptop Is Here!

The laptop itself is awesome! Wrangling the software into submission is another awful matter entirely, Windows 7 64 bit does not play very nice with my familiar, well broken in, just the way I like it, optimized XP world.

/this is going to be a long, hard slog, loud, intense, and sustained swearing is expected to ensue, hopefully I’ll be able to physically restrain myself from striking or otherwise damaging expensive computer hardware

Somali Pirates Collect Four More Americans

Judging by recent events, it’s pretty obvious that Operation Ocean Shield isn’t working very well.

Somali pirates seize American yacht crew off Oman

Four Americans sailing on a yacht off the coast of Oman have been taken hostage by Somali pirates, an international maritime watchdog says.

The S/V Quest, owned by a retired couple, was hijacked 240 nautical miles (275 miles) off Oman on Friday afternoon, Ecoterra told BBC News.

It is believed the yacht was en route from India to Oman.

While pirates usually attack cargo ships, they have hijacked a number of yachts in recent years.

Ecoterra said the capture of the S/V Quest had been reported by both its sources and by Nato’s anti-piracy operation, Ocean Shield. Nato could not be reached immediately for comment.

Jean and Scott Adam, the yacht’s owners, have been sailing it around the world since 2002, according to their website.

See also:
Somali pirates seize yacht with four Americans onboard, military says
Pirates hijack yacht with Americans on board
Yachting race organizers name Americans aboard yacht hijacked by Somali pirates
Pirates hijack 4 Americans; US mulls responses
Somali Pirates Seize a Yacht, the Quest, with Four Americans on Board
Somali pirates hijack yacht and capture Americans sailing in the Indian Ocean
Somali pirates seize American yacht crew off Oman
Yacht with 4 Americans Seized by Pirates in Somalia
Pirates seize four Americans from yacht off Oman
American sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates
Local Couple Taken Hostage by Somali Pirates: Reports
US assessing options in hijacking of couple by Somali pirates
US considers yacht hijack response
Pirates bringing hijacked US yacht to Somali lair
Pirates: Yacht to make landfall in Somalia

When are we going to get serious about this pirate threat? It’s not enough to react after they strike. In fact, in most cases, a ransom is paid, which only encourages more pirate activity. We need to strike at these pirates preemptively, lay waste to their home port bases and scuttle their entire pirate fleet. In other words, we need to change the pirates’ risk calculus so that the thought of engaging in pirate activity is equivalent to the thought of touching a hot stove.

/and if the combined naval resources of the civilized world aren’t able or willing to eliminate this piracy scourge, Western governments should start issuing letters of marque and let the private sector take a shot at the problem

100 Too Many

How awesome is it that a country with a weak, unstable central government, teetering on the brink of falling into the hands of radical Islamists, has 100 nuclear warheads, and keeps building more?

At 100, Pak ahead in N-arsenal

How many nuclear weapons does Pakistan need to feel secure? Not enough. Islamabad has doubled its nuclear weapons to more than 100 in the last few years, overtaking India’s tally in the process, and is adding more bombs to its arsenal, according to new estimates by proliferation gurus.

Four years ago, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was estimated to contain between 30 to 60 weapons, about the same as India’s. Since then, the country has rapidly accelerated its program. Current estimates by western nuclear pundits cited in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and other journals put the number between 100 and 110 — and growing.

See also:
Pakistan doubles its nuclear arsenal
Pakistani Nuke Stockpile Tops 100, Experts Say
Pakistan has 100 nuclear weapons, doubled its arsenal: Post
Report Says Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal Tops 100
At 110, Pak N-stock shoots past India’s: Report
‘Rapidly expanding’ Pak arsenal now possesses over 100 deployed nuke weapons: Expert
Pak has 110 N-weapons to edge ahead of India: US Report
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal tops 100: report
Pakistan Doubles Its Nuclear Arsenal
Don’t worry, India’s deterrence is robust: Pokhran II scientist

Do we really need this headache too? These yahoos can’t even control a significant chunk of their own territory, what the [expletive deleted] do they need 100 nuclear warheads for? God help us all if even one of these warheads falls into the hands of the Taliban or al Qaeda with the proper arming codes. And if the Islamists eventually manage to topple the unpopular, current secular government, they’ll probably have all the arming codes.

/I’d be extremely surprised if the United States didn’t have contingency plans to seize or spike these warheads if the Pakistani government were to fall to Islamic terrorists, however, every additional warhead they produce makes that task that much more difficult

Christmas Fail

India’s space program gets a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking.

Indian Rocket Explodes Seconds After Liftoff

An Indian space rocket carrying an advanced communications satellite exploded in smoke and fire just seconds after lifting off from a launch pad at the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh state, about 50 miles from the city of Chennai.

The Christmas Day launch of the satellite had originally been planned for December 20, but was delayed after engineers discovered a leak in one of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (GSLV) engines, the United News of India reported.

The GSLV was carrying a GSAT-5P communication satellite into orbit when it strayed from its planned flight path, and was deliberately blown up by mission control 47 seconds after liftoff, according to state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan.

Radhakrishnan said the GSLV developed an error shortly after takeoff, and then lost command, resulting in a higher angle in the flight.

“That caused a higher stress, breaking up the vehicle,” he said.

The GSLV exploded “at an altitude of 4.9 miles (8 km) and the debris have fallen in deep sea,” Radhakrishnan said.

See also:
Indian space rocket explodes soon after launchIndian rocket explodes after take-off
Indian rocket explodes on launch
Satellite-Carrying Indian Rocket Explodes After Launch
Unmanned Indian rocket explodes
GSAT-5P, GSLV-F06 were not insured
ISRO teams analysing data to pinpoint GSLV failure
Heavier payload caused Indian rocket’s failure: Expert
Disaster leaves Isro with 1 cryo engine
GSLV failures fuel disappointment and anxiety
GSLV failure sparks safety fears for 2016 manned space flight

Apparently, this isn’t the first time this particular type of rocket has failed.

/India might want to rethink their plans to use these rockets for manned flights

It’s Extra Special Patch Tuesday!

Yep, this gaping hole in Windows is so bad that Microsoft couldn’t even wait until next week’s regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday to try and fix it.

Microsoft issues emergency security patch for million dollar Windows flaw

Microsoft today rushed out an emergency patch for Windows Vista and Windows 7 PCs just eight days before its next Patch Tuesday.

The software giant issues security patches on the second Tuesday of each month, and only rarely issues so-called out-of-band patches. The company has never issued an emergency patch this close to Patch Tuesday, says Jason Miller, data and security team leader at patch management firm, Shavlik Technologies.

“Coming out with this patch this close to a Patch Tuesday is severe,” says Miller. “People should be paying attention to this one, and patch as soon as possible.”

Importantly, the emergency patch does nothing for hundreds of millions of PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2000, since Microsoft last month stopped issuing security updates for those older versions of its flagship operating system. The company continues to urge Windows XP SP2 users, in particular, to upgrade to Windows XP SP3, which will continue to get security updates, or to buy new Windows 7 PCs.

Update: To be clear, this patch will work on Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2; Windows Vista, Window Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2. It will not work on Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2000.

At the Black Hat and Def Con security conferences in Las Vegas last week, attendees referred to this Windows flaw as a $1 million vulnerability. Savvy hackers can tweak a basic component of all versions of Windows, called LNK. This is the simple coding that enables shortcut program icons to appear on your desktop.

No one in the legit world knew the LNK flaw existed until mid July, when security blogger Brian Krebs began reporting on a sophisticated worm spreading via USB thumb drives. That worm, known has Stuxnet, took advantage of the newly-discovered flaw to run a malicious program designed specifically to breach Siemens SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software systems. Over a period of months the attackers had infected Siemens SCADA controls in power plants and factories in Iran, Indonesia, India and some Middle East nations, according to antivirus firm Symantec.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-046 – Critical
Microsoft ships rush patch for Windows shortcut bug
Microsoft issues emergency patch for Windows shortcut link vulnerability
Microsoft Patches Windows Shell Vulnerability
Microsoft’s New Patch for Windows Shortcut Exploit
Emergency patch closes LNK hole in Windows
Microsoft sticks to plan, denies emergency patch for XP SP2

The new emergency patch is here, the new emergency patch is here!

/so, if your Windows didn’t automatically update, you’d better do it now

That [Expletive Deleted] Ain’t Right

Send plumbers, pipes, and money.

India has more cell phones than toilets: UN

India has 545 million working cell phones thanks to its booming emerging economy, a number expected to reach 1 billion by 2015, the UN University said on Wednesday.

That number exceeds the number of people who have access to toilet or sanitation facilities – only about 366 million, or 31 percent of the 1-billion strong population.

India’s number of cell phone users soared in just 10 years, from 0.35 per 100 persons in 2000 to 45 per 100 persons this year.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.1 billion people of the world population of 6.7 billion people have no access to toilet facilities. The UN Millennium Development Goals call for access to toilets by all people by 2025,

The UN University, a Canada-based think tank, made a study on cell phone users in developing countries to demonstrate that some countries may lag behind in achieving the goal of providing toilets and sanitation for all the world population by 2025.

“It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet,” said Zafar Adeel, a director at the UN University.

See also:
Greater Access to Cell Phones than Toilets in India
India has more cell phones than toilets: UN report
Toilets and mobiles
INDIA – India has more mobiles than toilets: UN report
People in India Have More Access to a Cell Phone than a Toilet
India has more mobiles than toilets: UN report
A nation with too few toilets
Too Many Cell Phones, Too Few Toilets in India
Hello, where can i find a toilet?
India has more Cell Phones than Toilets, says UN Study

Seven out of ten Indians don’t have access to a toilet? That’s just grim.

/makes you really wonder about Pakistan, already considered a cesspool of terrorism

It’s Six Minutes To Midnight, Rejoice, The Peacemaker Obama Cometh To Bring Whirled Peas To The People Of Earth!

What’d I say two days ago about the loons in charge of the “Doomsday Clock”?

Now common sense would dictate that between al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, the threat of nuclear proliferation and global warming hysteria, they’d move the minute hand a minute or two closer to midnight. Then again, you need to remember that the “scientists” in charge of the Doomsday Clock are pretty much liberal lefty loons (LLLs) and, with the ascension of Obama to the world stage and Obama’s subsequent Nobel Peace Prize, they might just have gotten it in their pointy heads that the world is actually safer today and move the minute hand back. Either way, we’ll find out Thursday.

Sure enough, they’re falling down drunk on the Obama Kool-Aid.

It is 6 minutes to midnight

This hopeful state of world affairs leads the boards of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists–which include 19 Nobel laureates–to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock back from five to six minutes to midnight. By shifting the hand back from midnight by only one additional minute, we emphasize how much needs to be accomplished, while at the same time recognizing signs of collaboration among the United States, Russia, the European Union, India, China, Brazil, and others on nuclear security and on climate stabilization.

Beginning with the joint letter of Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev of April 1, 2009, a growing partnership between the United States and Russia is resulting in nuclear arms negotiations that could bring down our deployed strategic warheads from more than 2,000 to about 1,500 warheads each. To put this in perspective, just a little more than a year ago, tensions over actions on Russia’s borders–sparring over Georgia and U.S. missile defense systems in Eastern Europe–threatened to push each country into hostile corners. Instead, this bilateral relationship–perhaps the most important for nuclear disarmament–is on the mend.

. . .

A key to the new era of cooperation is a change in the U.S. government’s orientation toward international affairs brought about in part by the election of Obama. With a more pragmatic, problem-solving approach, not only has Obama initiated new arms reduction talks with Russia, he has started negotiations with Iran to close its nuclear enrichment program, and directed the U.S. government to lead a global effort to secure loose fissile material in four years. He also presided over the U.N. Security Council last September where he supported a fissile material cutoff treaty and encouraged all countries to live up to their disarmament and nonproliferation obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. These actions constitute, in part, Obama’s efforts to make good on his campaign promise–the first ever by a U.S. president–to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Unreal. Of course there is no deal with the Russians, no deal with Iran, no fissile material cutoff treaty, and nuclear proliferation is as much a threat as it ever was. It’s exactly the same logic used for giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, when Obama speaks to gullible liberals, they can taste the loquacious, Candy Land lollipop lies spewing forth from the TelePrompTer, via his mouth, and they can smell the savory fragrant, floral unicorn farts emanating from his ass! In the real world, Obama has accomplished exactly nothing.

See also:
Doomsday clock reset thanks to Obama
Doomsday Clock Gets “Hopeful” Adjustment
Making Good Time: Doomsday Clock Moves 1 Minute Back to 6 from Midnight
We’re a minute safer: Doomsday clock moves backwards for first time since 1991
Doomsday Clock shows signs for hope, need for progress
‘Doomsday Clock’ Moves Away From Midnight but Only by 1 Minute
‘Doomsday Clock’ moves a minute back
Atomic scientists move Doomsday Clock one minute further away from midnight
Scientists Push “Doomsday Clock” Back a Minute
Tick-tock: Doomsday Clock gains a minute
DOOMSDAY CLOCK ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEOS
It’s Five Minutes To Midnight, What Time Will It Be Thursday?

/frankly, you have to be insane to think that Obama has made the world a safer place, in fact, his naivety and weakness in international affairs have done just the opposite

Fourth Time’s A Charm?

Pakistan Launches Waziristan Offensive

The Pakistani military launched a major ground offensive Saturday in the insurgent haven of South Waziristan, starting a much-awaited fight that could define the nation’s increasingly bloody domestic struggle against Islamist extremism.

Pakistani officials said nearly 30,000 troops were deployed in the Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold, from which militants have planned a two-week-long string of attacks against the nation’s formidable security forces.

The assaults have killed nearly 200 people and further destabilized a weak government that the United States has pressed to take a tougher stand against militancy. Now, with public alarm rising and winter snowfall approaching, Pakistani officials indicated they could wait no longer.

“There has to be consensus in the face of what is clearly now a war,” said Sherry Rehman, a ruling party lawmaker. “We have to treat this as a battle for Pakistan’s survival.”

The offensive is a gamble. Pakistani forces retreated after three previous, but far smaller, incursions into South Waziristan, an essentially ungoverned terrain of ridges and peaks that is unfamiliar to most except the tribes that live there. It is a potential vortex for the Pakistani army, which has been trained to battle archenemy India on the plains of the Punjab province, not conduct alpine counterinsurgency operations.

To succeed, experts on the insurgency said, the military will need to stunt the leadership of the feared Mehsud network of the Pakistani Taliban, which has regrouped since its chief was killed by a U.S. missile strike in August. The military will have to do that without alienating civilians in the area, they said, and before winter sets in. The operation is expected to last six to eight weeks, said Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, a military spokesman.

“The stakes for both sides are enormous,” said Bruce Hoffman, a counterinsurgency expert at Georgetown University. “The attacks of the past couple weeks demonstrate that the militants are really concerned . . . and that will have increased the ardor of the Pakistani forces to succeed. But it’s also an indication of why they can’t fail — the threat is already manifest.”

See also:
Pakistani Troops Attack Taliban in South Waziristan Stronghold
Pakistani Army begins Waziristan offensive
11 militants die in ground offensive against militants in S. Waziristan
The ground offensive
FACTBOX-The battle in Pakistan’s South Waziristan
Pakistan Troops Launch Offensive Against Taliban In Stronghold Of South Waziristan
Pakistani Military Launches Ground Offensive into South Waziristan
Pakistan sends 30,000 troops for all-out assault on Taliban
Pakistan Opens Offensive in a Militant Stronghold
Pakistan launches risky offensive into Taliban-Al Qaeda stronghold
Pakistan imposes curfew in South Waziristan
Eyewitness: At the edge of war
Thousands Flee Pakistan’s S. Waziristan Region
Pakistan Government Must Prepare for S. Waziristan Displacement Crisis, Says Amnesty International
Baitullah Mehsud Network, mother of all evils: ISPR spokesman

Three times previously the Pakistani Army has ventured forth into South Waziristan and three times previously they have settled for “making peace” with the Taliban. The Pakistan government and people have been burned by these “truces” all three times. There is no making peace with the Talkiban, the only solution is their utter destruction.

Until the Pakistan government physically cleans out and gains sovereign control over Waziristan and the northern tribal areas, the Taliban will be free to continue to plan and carry out attacks and al Qaeda will continue to have a safe haven. For the sake of some modicum of stability in the region, let’s all hope that this fourth time’s a charm and that the Pakistani Army is finally serious about crushing the Taliban threat once and for all.

/no hudna this time, all the marbles, total war, in it to win it, it’s not over until the entire Taliban senior leadership is captured or killed, their heads displayed on pikes would be an appropriate, well deserved fate for these pirates of civilization

There’s Water On That Thar Moon!

NASA Briefing To Reveal Evidence of Water on the Moon – Lots of It

Reliable sources report that there will be a press conference at NASA HQ at 2:00 pm this Thursday featuring lunar scientist Carle Pieters from Brown University.

The topic of the press briefing will be a paper that will appear in this week’s issue of Science magazine wherein results from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) aboard Chandrayaan-1 will be revealed.

The take home message: there is a lot of water on the Moon.

Water discovered on moon?: “A lot of it actually”

Speculation is rife among space scientists that the quest for water on the moon may have reached a climactic end with the discovery of “a lot of water” by an instrument on board Chandrayaan-I.

A report by the online space news portal, Space Ref, says this discovery, made by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) on board the Indian mission, will be the subject of a press conference, to be addressed by Carle Pieters, planetary geologist and principal investigator of the instrument, at the NASA headquarters on Thursday.

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), an imaging spectrometer, was one of the 11 instruments on board Chandrayaan-I that came to a premature end on August 29. M3 was aimed at providing the first mineral map of the entire lunar surface.

Hinting at this exciting development, a recent report published by Nature News says: “Results soon to be published… will show detailed spectra confirming that, indeed, the polar regions of the moon are chockfull of water-altered minerals.”

Lunar scientists have for decades contended with the possibility of water repositories. They are now increasingly “confident that the decades-long debate is over,” the report says. “The moon, in fact, has water in all sorts of places; not just locked up in minerals, but scattered throughout the broken-up surface, and, potentially, in blocks or sheets of ice at depth.” The results from the NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are also “offering a wide array of watery signals.

NASA Expected to Reveal Moon Mineral Mapper Shows A Lot of Water on the Moon

Water on the moon should be used to supply fuel for fuel depots in space to enable colonization and lower cost access to space.

See also:
Report: NASA to confirm presence of water on the moon
Did Chandrayaan find water on Moon’s surface?
Did Chandrayaan-1 confirm ice on the Moon?
LRO, Chandrayaan-1 Team Up For Unique Search for Water Ice
India’s Chandrayaan-1 and NASA join hands to search for water on the moon
Chandrayaan-1 (M3)
Chandrayaan-1
Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3
Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Back To The Moon

It’s too bad we can’t send men back to the moon to take advantage of this wonderful discovery because Obama is spending the $50 billion NASA needs to pay back his union buddies. What a corrupt, shameful shame.

/Obama Says, No Moon For You!